Two years ago steps were taken to stop money laundering through casinos in British Columbia; however, there are signs that the problem may be worsening.Finance Minister Mike de Jong said that reports of suspicious transactions at casinos have more than doubled since a 2011 government audit identified lax rules in how the B.C. Lottery Corporation was reporting suspicious transactions.
In 2011 459 suspicious cases were sent to the police for investigation, in 2013 the number had climbed to 1,013.
In a recent interview de Jong said that some casino and enforcement branch staff are frustrated, “What I am detecting is a degree of frustration on the part of some officials who collect that information, forward it on and lose track of what becomes with it.”
Casino staff are meant to log and report transactions of $10,000 or more. Last year none of the 1,013 cases reported resulted in charges. In one case from 2012 a patron brought in $200,000 in $20 bills, the man had previously brought in $1.6 million in a single month.
De Jong’s office said that the rise in reported cases may be due to better training. As a further precaution the minister is also said to be considering banning cash transactions of $100,000 or more at casinos since other, more secure deposit methods are available.